Filed Under Book Review
Over break, I decided to read two marketing books by Jon Spoelstra after Russell The Business of Sports. Spoelstra is a top sports marketer who used to be an executive for the Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets and he also consulted for a variety of other teams including the Edmonton Oilers. To be honest, I never really heard of him until Russell’s blog post about the books. Once you start reading, you will quickly realize that this man is a creative genious.suggested them in a post at
He first wrote Ice to the Eskimos in 1997 where he gave 19 steps in how to market a product nobody wants. In his 20+ years as a sports executive, Spoelstra kept working for crappy teams who were at the bottom of the league in performance both on and off the court. His 19 steps show how he was able to turn these teams around off the court even when the team still sucked on the court. His second book, Marketing Outrageously, was published in 2001 and talks about how to increase you revenue by staggering amounts in 17 rules.
While both books were fantastic and offered great examples of what works and doesn’t work in sport marketing, I thought his first book Ice To The Eskimos had more meat. His second book reads more like an updated version of his first book with some new anecdotes and examples. I had read both as copies from the library. I plan on purchasing Ice To The Eskimos, but not Marketing Outrageously. I will jut get Marketing Outrageously from the library once in awhile because it’s similar enough to not warrant purchasing both copies if you don’t have a lot of money. I think these are the type of books that you should read once a year because it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and this book gets your creative juices flowing and pushes you to try something new.
While this book is targeted to marketers (sport or otherwise), you don’t have to be the team president or VP of marketing or even in the marketing department to not get something valuable from the reading. I’ve only been a PR or media relations intern at this point in my career so these books really helped open my eyes at what it takes to be successful in sports marketing and the benefit of thinking outside the box.
I also really liked how he had little tests/quizzes at the end of each chapter that gets you thinking about what you just read and makes sure you understand the key rule discussed in that chapter. The only drawback I had to these books were that they were released in 1997 and 2001. Technology has really changed things so it would be great to hear some more current examples with today’s technologies, but the thing is his basic principles apply today. I highly recommend these books, particularly Ice To The Eskimos. I would give these books 5 out of 5 stars.